Well, last year I started doing the Gel Manicure (O.P.I. Axium Gels) and I became addicted! It's a manicure that it is UV treated to set so that you leave the salon with dry fingernails that can last chip free from 2 weeks - 1month. It's a little bit more expensive, but for a mani/pedi regular like myself - it's worth it to have a polish that you don't have to remove a day later!
There are definitely some pros and cons to this process, and I'll definitely share them with you so that you know what you're getting into.
- Long Lasting - Depending on the shade you opt for (O.P.I. offers your favorite polish shades in gel as well) your look could last 2 weeks - 1 month or longer. When I've gone with the darker colors, like Russian Navy, it's looked perfect for 2 weeks (no chips) and good for 4 weeks (1-2 chips). On the other hand, if I go for something like or a french, it has lasted me 4 weeks with no chips. Therefore allowing you to go longer in between manicures.
- No Drying Necessary - FINALLY! You can leave the salon with your hands already dried due to the curing process.
- No Pain or Damage - I've never had acrylics, but from what I've heard there is a LOT of maintenance associated with them and once you remove them your nails are brittle and thin. This is definitely not the case with the gels. Your nails are still healthy and you can stop any time and go back to a traditional manicure or do it at home.
- Versatility - The gel manicure can be applied to your natural nail or acrylic nails - whichever you choose!
- Expense - The Gel nails are more expensive. Normally a manicure can run you $35-40 with a $5-10 soak off fee. Prior to the reapplication of the gels, you must soak off the old.
- Some Maintenance Required - Most people (like me) do not remove the gels themselves. That's because it requires soaking them in acetone for 20-60 minutes and having them scraped off. In some cases, the adhesive will need to be sanded as well. Therefore, it ends up being easier if someone else does the work for you.
- Bubbling - Make sure that the person who does your manicure has experiences with gels. If they do not seal the sides of your nails properly it will start to peel off.
Here are some pictures of individuals who have gotten the Axium Gels, including a picture of mine. I've only tried the O.P.I. Axium's, but there are other brands that are also offering similar promises. I can only speak for O.P.I. but I personally think they are fantastic. Plus, many salons will offer package deals like buy 5, get one Free. And don't be afraid to ask if they don't...every salon is looking to get a buyer that will definitely be coming back.
My Favorite Shade, "You Don't Know Jacques"
My Nails Looked PERFECT - Even When Beating Up My Husband :)
And...I EVEN rocked them in my engagement pics
So whether you're a manicure regular or a spa newbie, give the Axium Gels a try. I seriously have women stopping me every day and asking me what I am doing differently. Maybe you have a wedding to attend or a special party coming up or you just want to treat yourself - either way, pretty nails are where it's at! After all, some men say nails are one of a woman's most important features!